Album Review: 'Fowl' by Fowl
I often listen to some tunes when I cook, it gets me through the mundane tasks like chopping a mountain of vegetables or peeling a sack of spuds. To accompany the making of a macaroni cheese, I put on the new album by Fowl, released just last weekend.
This is the second major work by the Blyth punk band following their EP ‘The Cowboy’ last year, however this eponymous eight track album runs only four minutes longer than their first offering, at a sprightly twenty.
The Old West theme continues to play out here with track names such as ‘High Noon’, ‘Spaghetti Western’ and ‘So Long Partner’ leaving you in little doubt.
I will say before I go any further that the album is homemade, which isn’t an issue in itself, but in this case the quality of the recordings did detract from the vision that I felt Fowl were trying to achieve.
The tracks have a very raw sound, almost as if they were recorded live at a gig, but it doesn’t quite do their range of material justice.
Lyrics are constantly drowned out, there is a muffled feel around many of the songs and the metal scream vocals on the album are like trying to grate cheese with a bread knife, it’s messy and it just doesn’t work. It was the cry of someone desperately trying to be heard over the guitar and drums.
That isn’t to say there aren’t positives. On lead single ‘Lurch’, the contrast between the low-key sinister voice and explosive riffs works quite well, like the taunts before a shootout, or in my case, the simmering of pasta before it almost boiled over.
Closing track ‘So Long Partner’ has a quieter narrative with a frequent cracking sound, perhaps evoking the pulling of a trigger or smack of a whip.
Fowl cite LICE and IDLES as some of the inspirations behind the album and that does come through despite the unpolished nature of it.
I would be very curious to know what the album would have sounded like were it to have been recorded in a studio. Probably a lot closer to those artists that helped construct Fowl's recipe.
On the whole then, perhaps a case of “What If?”
The album didn’t really come together for me, but I like punk, metal and westerns, so will be keeping an eye out to see what they do next.
Live on stage, the band’s energy and spunk must be a force to be reckoned with and ultimately I think that is where this set of songs belong for now. Certainly not in my kitchen anyway.
Words: Sean Davis